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Government Renews Shale Gas Commitment

Thursday, May 17, 2018


GMB supports serious and meaningful discussion on how shale gas should support the UK's short and medium term energy needs.

GMB, the energy union, has welcomed the Government’s renewed commitment to shale gas exploration.

In a written ministerial statement published today, it states  “it is right to utilise our domestic gas resources to the maximum extent and exploring further the potential for onshore gas production from shale rock formations in the UK, where it is economically efficient, and where environment impacts are robustly regulated”. [1]

GMB welcomes the move as an opportunity to evaluate whether shale gas offers a safe and commercially viable future for the UK energy industry. [2]

Stuart Fegan, National Officer GMB, said:

"We welcome the written ministerial statement which confirmed the Government’s commitment to exploring the potential of shale gas."

"Shale gas production should be permitted, alongside the development of the UK's renewable and nuclear capacity, benefiting the security of our energy, the economy and the environment."

"If, as it looks likely, shale exploration is going to happen, GMB will work with the industry and apply pressure to ensure the Industry is as safe as possible.”


Contact: Contact: Stuart Fegan on 07912 890434 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to editors


[2]  National Grid has forecast up to 35 million pure electric vehicles will be on the roads by 2050 needing an extra 30 gigawatts of power — the equivalent of 10 Hinkley Point power stations.

A separate National Grid Report says gas is fundamental to the UK’s energy future, and it’s not realistic to switch to electric heating on the scale required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 per cent of 1990 levels by the middle of this century.

It says a move to electric heating would require a seven-fold increase in the capacity of the grid to 290 gigawatts - emphasising the importance of gas and the need for our own independent supply.

During  the 12 months from 7 March 2017, every one in 5.6 days was a low wind day (65 days in total) when the output of the installed and connected wind turbines in the UK produced less than 10% of their installed and connected capacity for more than half of the day


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